News in Brief 04 April 2016 (AM)

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In Ukraine, cash and food voucher assistance by WFP allow people to go to the market and pick the food they prefer. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

 

1.5 million hungry due to conflict in eastern Ukraine

Around 1.5 million people are suffering from hunger due to the on-going conflict in eastern Ukraine, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

This comes after two years of fighting between government forces, and separatist rebels around the border with Russia.

WFP said on Monday that of the 300,000 people who are "severely food insecure" they hoped to reach most of them with supplies during the first six months of 2016.

370,000 people already receive monthly food packages with a further 180,000 receiving help through cash-based transfers to buy food at local markets.

The people in most need are in the non-government controlled area of Luhansk, and along the front line of the simmering conflict, according to WFP.

New homes handed over to 281 refugee families in Gaza

Some 281 refugee families living in southern Gaza are to receive new homes, following the completion of the latest phase of a UN housing programme.

The Rafah Rehousing Project is run by the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA.

A total of 1,310 Palestinians began moving in to the new units two weeks ago.

The project ensures gender-equality of ownership, through a policy of having both husbands and wives sign the deeds to the property.

More than 11,000 refugees have been resettled in new homes thanks to the project, since it began in 2001, according to UNRWA.

Countries discuss new reductions in harmful greenhouse gases

Dozens of countries are meeting in Geneva this week to discuss ways of further reducing harmful hydroflorocarbons, or HFCs, which threaten to dramatically increase global warming.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Monday that four proposed amendments to the Montreal Protocol on HFCs were being considered, which if adopted, could help offset up to half a degree of global warming by the end of this century.

It's the first meeting of a formal Working Group on the issue, involving 197 different parties.

HFCs are potent greenhouse gases that are growing rapidly, at a rate of around 7 per cent each year.

The chemicals are using in air-conditioning, refrigeration, foams and aerosols as replacements for ozone-depleting substances that are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, which was originally signed in 1987.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’01″

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